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Why is water a special compound

Water is a commonplace substance and very essential to life. It is a unique substance because it exhibits many properties that are very unusual. Because of the hydrogen bond between the oxygen atom and the two hydrogen atoms,

the nature of water helps govern the global ecosystem from carrying nutrients in solution to controlling our global climate. Below are some of waters unique characteristics.

  1. Ice is slow to melt and water is slow to boil. Temperatures change slowly when changing form (phases) from liquid to solid to gas.
  2. Under normal climatic conditions on earth, water exists simultaneously in all three phases. Can you name any other substance for which this is true?
  3. Water is almost a "universal solvent". It carries nutrients and washes out hands and clothes. It is an inert solvent in that it does not react chemically to form new substances with the materials dissolved in the solution.
  4. The density of water increases when it is cooled until about 4-degrees C. and then it expands. The water lines break when freezing occurs.
  5. When we sweat, it cools our bodies.
  6. The surface tension is very high which allows a bead of water to form a "roundish" drip from the faucet and allows to water to cling to soil particles.
  7. Moist air is lighter (less dense) than dry air of the same temperature and has a tendency to rise.


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